Agenda for 2002-03 Focuses on Issues
By DANIEL L. SMITH
Continuing the dialogue on my objective of "A Value
Proposition for AAPG" and my theme of "Value, Value, Value," I have
prepared a list of important issues that I will pursue this year.
Although these items are mainly a result of my life-long career
experiences, they also reflect feedback from many members on the
questions I have been asking for many months:
What are the primary concerns (issues)
that affect our ability to practice our profession?
What should AAPG be doing about them?
These tend to be fairly broad categories that can
be subdivided into many initiatives. Although we are making progress
on some, others need considerable work -- and I will focus and discuss
these in future articles.
This is nearly everyone's number one issue. Public
perception of geology, especially petroleum exploration and production,
controls decisions on energy and public policies made at every level
of government. Elected officials always make decisions based on
the wishes of their constituents.
An action plan for AAPG is in the development stage.
Be aware that this has nothing to do with lobbying. It has everything
to do with the need for AAPG to position itself to educate and have
an effect on public opinion.
At least eight committees deal with student outreach.
We must finally set into motion a plan to provide better coordination
of student, academic and association services.
Already in progress is a plan for additional student
expos and a virtual student expo. Corporate Student Sponsorship
started this year. We must increase Web-based information specifically
useful to students and provide a venue in which students can interact
Build a world-class education curriculum for professional
geologists to meet the needs of the industry. This should include
career management resources and educational programs that are timely,
useful, state-of-the-art and cost effective.
A huge divide exists between the academic world and
the real world of the petroleum industry.
Can AAPG supply this need?
Is there an opportunity to establish a field training
facility financed by industry, since most universities have eliminated
Increased Digital Media.
Accessibility to technical information increasingly
will be computer dependent (50 percent of AAPG members have e-mail,
but 10 percent are not current). We will continue our resolve for
electronic publishing, the ongoing creation of technical databases
and electronic mining of data (GIS program).
There are new ways to disseminate technical information
and reach members who are otherwise inaccessible with traditional
Ethics -- Both AAPG and Business.
There is a general heightened awareness of the Association's
commitment to the Code of Ethics and to business ethics in general.
Some initiatives would be to develop a short course on ethics, an
emphasis on ethical cases in the EXPLORER, and plan a "summit" to
determine direction and implementation.
Improved communication and leveraging across our
sister societies will provide significant opportunities to increase
the value of geoscience programs, improve cost effectiveness of
activities and result in effective strategies for growth of the
societies and the profession.
AAPG already is moving in this direction. How well
we function in our profession and its effect on our livelihood depends
on interdisciplinary communication and education.
Approximately 30 percent of existing members and
50 percent of new members work in the international arena. The new
regions have made good progress in firming up election procedures,
team leaders, student chapters, visiting geologists and member services.
Efforts will continue to strengthen all aspects of
Membership Enhancement and Promotion.
We are going to develop a strong foundation for membership
retention and enhancement. This will include new or improved products
and services such as Search and Discovery, interactive online learning,
the new GIS program, member registry and one-day
AAPG will commence a Membership Enhancement Program,
to be kicked off at APPEX
(AAPG's Prospect and Property Expo, set Aug. 27-29 in Houston) and
will end with the annual meeting in Salt Lake City in May.
Please see Rick Fritz's "Director's Corner" on page
47 of the AAPG August 2002 EXPLORER.